Posted on 29 Jan 2019
The internet is used to trade endangered species and commodities containing parts from endangered species, and more broadly hosts communities and subcultures where this trade is normalized, routine and unchallenged.
This report presents a new technical process that has been trialled to identify online marketplaces and websites involved in the trade of a selection of CITES-listed animals and plants. The technology, known as the Dynamic Data Discovery Engine (or DDDE), was developed with the aim of building upon qualitative research to produce larger, more comprehensive datasets of similar activity taking place.
The report contains a description of the process and the results that it produced, its strengths and weaknesses, and some thoughts on how it might be used by others hoping to reduce the extent to which the internet can be exploited by those wishing to transact endangered animals and plants.
It is hoped that the process will contribute to the creation of a more comprehensive picture of online illicit wildlife trade (IWT) activity.